New York Mets owner Steve Cohen spent more money than any other Major League Baseball team in 2023 by over $64 million. Yet, with 40-plus games remaining in the regular season, Cohen's team is all-but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Should the New York Jets be looking at what happened in Queens? Absolutely and for good reason.
It all started out so promisingly. The 2022 New York Mets jumped ahead to a 10.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East on June 1st. However, by the beginning of October of last season, that lead was gone and the rest is history. Manager Buck Showalter, once again, got his team close to a championship but lost in the process.
The New York Mets have been keeping pace with the red-hot Atlanta Braves at the top of the National League East to start the season. However, Mets owner Steve Cohen is investing $144 million MORE in payroll than Atlanta in 2023. One would assume that in year three, the primary stakeholder has higher expectations this season than a wild-card-round loss at Citi Field.
It is no secret that the New York Mets early season struggles on the mound have fans panicking. Justin Verlander isn't expected to make his Mets debut until late April and Carlos Carasco has been hammered by the Marlins. Add in Max Scherzer's struggles against Milwaukee and, well, all-out mayhem has set-in.
So much has to go right for a major league team to play 162 games, win all of their playoff series and then four games in the World Series, against the other league's best team. Even more would have to go right for the Amazin' Mets.
It is an age-old story in New York. When the iconic Yankees are good, they rule the region. In fact, it was 65 years years ago that the Bronx Bombers' National League neighbors, the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers abandoned their fanbases and moved across the country. Many believed the move was primarily done to get away from the powerful lure of the team in pinstripes. Many decades later and billions of dollars ready to spend, Mets owner Steve Cohen is at least trying to put up a fight for his Queens franchise.
If the New York Mets want to be a perennial playoff team, then they have to make decisions with their head and not their heart. Faced with the prospect of paying their free-agent, ace right-hander, Jake deGrom for the next 3 or 4 years, at $40 plus million per, Amazin's general manager Billy Eppler had better think long and hard about the investments that he makes over the next year, as Mets president-in-waiting David Stearns bides his time, collecting checks from the Milwaukee Brewers and making notes on his future employees.
As the winter months edge closer, New York Mets fans will begin to soften on the disappointments of their team's 101 win season. Then they will reflect on the sound of "Narco" by Timmy Trumpet blaring out of the Citi Field speakers, as the crowd rose its feet and closer Edwin Diaz jogged from the bullpen. It was a good season for the Mets and especially on the mound. Fortunately for fans and the organization, the pitching coach behind that success, Jeremy Hefner, looks to be returning.